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Pharmacokinetics of remifentanil in conscious cats and cats anesthetized with isoflurane

Bruno H. Pypendop DrMedVet, DrVetSci1, Robert J. Brosnan DVM, PhD2, Kristine T. Siao BS3, and Scott D. Stanley PhD4
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  • 1 Department of Surgical and Radiological Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616.
  • | 2 Department of Surgical and Radiological Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616.
  • | 3 Department of Surgical and Radiological Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616.
  • | 4 K. L. Maddy Equine Analytical Chemistry Laboratory, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616.

Abstract

Objective—To characterize the pharmacokinetics of remifentanil in conscious cats and cats anesthetized with isoflurane.

Animals—6 cats.

Procedures—Remifentanil (1 μg/kg/min for 5 minutes) was administered IV in conscious cats or cats anesthetized with 1.63% isoflurane in oxygen in a randomized crossover design. Blood samples were obtained immediately prior to remifentanil administration and every minute for 10 minutes, every 2 minutes for 10 minutes, and every 5 minutes for 10 minutes after the beginning of the infusion. Blood was immediately transferred to tubes containing citric acid, flash frozen in liquid nitrogen, and stored at −80°C until analysis. Blood remifentanil concentration was determined by use of liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry. Remifentanil concentration-time data were fitted to compartment models.

Results—A 2-compartment model (with zero-order input because of study design) best described the disposition of remifentanil in awake and isoflurane-anesthetized cats. The apparent volume of distribution of the central compartment, the apparent volume of distribution at steady state, the clearance, and the terminal half-life (median [range]) were 1,596 (1,164 to 2,111) and 567 (278 to 641) mL/kg, 7,632 (2,284 to 76,039) and 1,651 (446 to 29,229) mL/kg, 766 (408 to 1,473) and 371 (197 to 472) mL/min/kg, and 17.4 (5.5 to 920.3) and 15.7 (3.8 to 410.3) minutes in conscious and anesthetized cats, respectively.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The disposition of remifentanil in cats was characterized by a high clearance. Isoflurane anesthesia significantly decreased the volume of the central compartment, likely by decreasing blood flow to vessel-rich organs.

Abstract

Objective—To characterize the pharmacokinetics of remifentanil in conscious cats and cats anesthetized with isoflurane.

Animals—6 cats.

Procedures—Remifentanil (1 μg/kg/min for 5 minutes) was administered IV in conscious cats or cats anesthetized with 1.63% isoflurane in oxygen in a randomized crossover design. Blood samples were obtained immediately prior to remifentanil administration and every minute for 10 minutes, every 2 minutes for 10 minutes, and every 5 minutes for 10 minutes after the beginning of the infusion. Blood was immediately transferred to tubes containing citric acid, flash frozen in liquid nitrogen, and stored at −80°C until analysis. Blood remifentanil concentration was determined by use of liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry. Remifentanil concentration-time data were fitted to compartment models.

Results—A 2-compartment model (with zero-order input because of study design) best described the disposition of remifentanil in awake and isoflurane-anesthetized cats. The apparent volume of distribution of the central compartment, the apparent volume of distribution at steady state, the clearance, and the terminal half-life (median [range]) were 1,596 (1,164 to 2,111) and 567 (278 to 641) mL/kg, 7,632 (2,284 to 76,039) and 1,651 (446 to 29,229) mL/kg, 766 (408 to 1,473) and 371 (197 to 472) mL/min/kg, and 17.4 (5.5 to 920.3) and 15.7 (3.8 to 410.3) minutes in conscious and anesthetized cats, respectively.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The disposition of remifentanil in cats was characterized by a high clearance. Isoflurane anesthesia significantly decreased the volume of the central compartment, likely by decreasing blood flow to vessel-rich organs.

Contributor Notes

Supported by the Center for Companion Animal Health, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California.

Address correspondence to Dr. Pypendop.